Whose Buy Box is it anyway?

So Imagine this. You have invested all the time time, energy and resources working towards what you think is going to be your best Black Friday and the holiday shopping sales ever on Amazon.

The A+ content is up on the super SKUs, you are winning the share of search, you have submitted your promotions to Amazon, and all you now have to do is wait and see the cash register rolling.

No one can come between you and your Q4 targets…

Lo and behold, one week before the sales kick in, you see you have lost the Buy Box on what was supposed to be your hero SKU. You are scratching your head, the person next to you is scratching their head and the person next to them is scratching theirs too!

Sadly, this is a common occurrence and something we have seen happening to a client of ours at GreyScout in the past.

Staying on top of your Buy Box should be the utmost priority, but when you do lose a Buy Box staying on top of whom you are losing it to, should be equally prioritised as well.

According to a study by Profitero, a brand loses on avg. 12% sales in the U.S and 21% in the U.K when they lose a Buy Box. And as we all know, the path to winning the Buy Box again is not an easy one.

This Black Friday is going to be no different, but more so, it’s going to get a bit more chaotic. The majority of the retailers have shown indications of unloading stock over the holiday season. This includes Target, Walmart and others in the US and major retailers forecasting the same in the UK and Europe.

As retailers find ways to unload excess inventory via mass liquidations and other methods, this excess inventory is eventually going to find its way to marketplaces.

As Amazon increases its fulfilment fees, from Oct. 15 through Jan. 14, third-party sellers who use Fulfillment by Amazon will have to pay 35 cents per item sold in the U.S. or Canada, margins are going to be tight and with fears of retailer unloads popping up on marketplaces looking to loom over, now is the time to be proactive for Q4.

Here are some quick action points and exercises for Q4:

  • Monitoring Buy Boxes as a daily/weekly exercise: Make sure you reach out to your digital shelf providers and ask them for added monitoring of super SKUs over the next 2 months. Where allowed, for example in US, MAPs are being monitored across both 1Ps and if possible 3Ps.
  • 3P accountability: In situations where an unrecognized 3P has won a buy box and something is not looking right, using a solution like GreyScout to ensure the authenticity of the product would be the great first step.
  • Building synergy towards Q4: Getting all the teams together, this includes eCommerce, Brand, Legal and brand protection, amazon sales teams and building the internal knowledge around why this year it’s going to be a different holiday shopping season would prove crucial.

Jotting down plans of action if you are to lose a buy box is important and ensuring that even if you do lose the buy box, you have resources to win it back, just in time is going to be an important factor.

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Aditya Labhe

Aditya Labhe

Thinker | Writer | Photographer | Learner | Adboy | Idea builder | Design enthusiast